The Pittsburgh Steelers trail the Browns 10-6 after the first half. Mason Rudolph has had a few nice plays, but has also been under pressure where he has struggled in the past. He is navigating the pocket a little better than he did last year under pressure, but he hasn’t been able to keep his eyes downfield while doing so.
Still, a 40+ yard pass to Diontae Johnson and a nice opening drive needle-thread to Chase Claypool have given us something to be excited about.
The Cleveland Browns are set to receive the ball here in the second half. Baker Mayfield had some big plays in the first half, but overall did not play that well and Mason Rudolph actually outperformed him.
The kickoff was returned to the 25 yard line for the Browns. After an incomplete pass on 2nd, the Browns have 3rd and 4 to start the half. A chance for the Steelers defense to force the three and out. Jarvis Landry caught the ball at the sticks to convert the first down.
On 1st, Baker Mayfield slipped trying to avoid pressure from Alex Highsmith who almost tallied another sack. Jayrone Elliot tagged him down for the official sack.
Marcus Allen was injured on the 2nd down play to bring up 3rd and 3. Allen is labeled as “probable” to return. Baker Mayfield kept the ball himself to get the first down and might have been just inches short. 4th and short coming here and the Browns are one of the top teams in the league on advanced analytics going for it on 4th and short.
The Browns had a false start and opted to punt with the added yardage.
The Steelers got the ball back, and had another successful deep shot from Mason Rudolph to Chase Claypool. The Steelers are down in enemy territory.
James Conner made the first defender miss on third down, but didn’t lower his shoulder for the last couple yards needed. The Steelers kick another field goal and its good. 10-9 Browns.
Kevin Rader, Pine Richland and Pittsburgh area native, with the nice special team tackle.
The Browns down in the red zone and his a wide open Austin Hooper in the flat for the touchdown. 17-9 Browns.
It definitely feels like an uphill battle from here on out, as the Steelers didn’t capitalize on their big plays earlier in the game.
Mason Rudolph under heavy pressure and he tossed the interception. That might seal the game. Almost returned for the touchdown, but Benny Snell prevented that from happening with a shoestring tackle.
There should have probably been a roughing the passer or illegal hands to the face as Mason got mugged after the interception.
The Browns are now in the red zone after a David Njoku sideline catch. Another catch for the Browns, and they have 1st and goal from the 4 yard line.
Another touchdown for the Browns, this time to Jarvis Landry. Browns 24-9.
James Conner picked up about seven yards on first down after breaking a tackle. The next play he got tackled beyond the sticks, so the Steelers get another first down.
Rudolph tried to thread it in to Chase Claypool, but it was broken up by Robert Jackson. Back to Claypool the next play, who fought his way through tacklers after the catch to get enough yards for the 1st down.
Incomplete to Kevin Rader on 3rddwon. The Steelers, not in field goal range, are forced to go for it on 4th and 6. Diontae Johnson able to haul it in for the first down.
Chase Claypool dove in the end zone to try and catch the ball, but was only able to get his fingertips on the ball. The defensive back probably interfered there a bit.
The next play, Mason Rudolph scrambled out of the pocket and threw it deep to James Washington, who was unable to haul it in. The defender in tight coverage.
Olivier Vernon helped off the field for the Browns and was not able to put much weight on his leg.
The Steelers have a 4th and 10 from the 29 yard line. Rudolph deep right to Chase Claypool who caught the ball in the end zone. A 28 yard reception. 24-16 Browns.
The Browns are chewing up clock and driving the field. Baker Mayfield has converted for the 1st a few times on this drive. A blatant hold on Henry Mondeaux not called on the most recent one.
The Steelers are getting the ball back after a turnover on downs. There is 3:37 remaining and the Steelers are down 8 points. Mason Rudolph has a chance to complete the comeback.
On 3rd and 10, Mason Rudolph complete to Juju Smith-Schuster for the first down. Mason Rudolph with another beautiful deep shot to Diontae Johnson in double coverage for 47 yards. Mason Rudolph, win or lose, has had a game well above what was expected.
The Steelers are on the 5 yard line, and on 2nd and goal did a shovel pass to Vance McDonald for a few yards. The next play, complete to Juju Smith-Schuster in the end zone. The Steelers will now have to go for two points to tie the game up.
The two point attempt was thrown high to Chase Claypool and fell incomplete. 24-22 Browns.
The onside kick was attempted and the Browns player let the ball bounced in between his legs where several Steelers pounced on the ball. The Steelers had a chance to recover, but did not. The defense and the three timeouts have to attempt to get a stop. A couple of runs and two timeouts later, the Browns have 3rd and 1. They will have two plays to seal their spot in the playoffs. The Browns picked up the first down and officially have made the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
The Browns just won the right to go to Heinz Field next week, this time with all the starters back for their first playoff game.
FINAL 24-22 Browns